via Dabengwa contests election ruling | The Herald July 24, 2015
ZAPU leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa has approached the Supreme Court challenging the Electoral Court’s recent judgment refusing to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to take charge of voter registration, maintaining voters’ rolls and register in line with the new constitutional dispensation.
The Electoral Court ruled two weeks ago that Zec has unfettered discretion to use or not to use the voters’ rolls compiled by the Registrar-General because there is no law compelling the commission to craft a new register.
Dr Dabengwa yesterday filed his notice of appeal at the superior court in a bid to overturn the Electoral Court decision.
Among the grounds of appeal, Dr Dabengwa argued that the lower court erred in finding that the performance of the electoral body’s constitutional and statutory duties was subject to its own unilateral view.
“Appellants pray that the appeal be allowed with costs including the costs in the court a quo (lower court) and that judgment of the Electoral Court set aside,” said Dr Dabengwa in his papers.
In the lower court, Dr Dabengwa wanted various provisions of the Constitution such as those providing for Zec to register voters and to compile the voters roll, to be given effect forthwith.
These included Zec’s immediate take over from the Registrar-General’s Office duties such as registering voters, compiling its own voters’ rolls, keeping and maintaining voters’ rolls and ensuring that the public has access to inspecting the voters’ rolls as provided for in the Constitution.
Dr Dabengwa argued that in the run up to the harmonised elections in 2013, he went through agony trying to obtain a copy of the voters roll from ZEC.
It was also his contention that in the 2013 election, Section 6(2) of Part 3 of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution gave the Registrar of Voters authority to perform some of the election duties under the supervision of Zec, but the future elections should now be conducted in terms of Section 239(c) of the new Constitution.
Since August 10 2013 when Section 239(c) became operative, Dr Dabengwa argued, Zec had not yet complied with the law.
The “court” , supreme or high is RGM. Fullstop.
This is an issue that all opposition parties and Civil society should be unanimously fighting for. The fight for reforms should be every Zimbabwean’s concern, and more so political parties.